John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Happy birthday to thesameoldsame and starline! For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):


To tumble lewdly with women in open day.
—John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Pepys' Predicament

On this date in 1668, diarist Samuel Pepys jotted what may be the earliest English reference to pornography, saying, "Stopped at Martin's, my bookseller, where I saw the French book which I did think to have for my wife to translate, called L'escholle des filles [The School of Girls, 1655]. But when I come to look in it, it is the most bawdy, lewd book that ever I saw, rather worse than Putana errante, so that I was ashamed of reading in it." But on February 8 he returned to Martin's "and there staid an hour and bought the idle, rogueish book, which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying of it better bound because I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it." The next morning Pepys rationalized his purchase as "a mighty lewd book, but not yet amiss for a sober man once to read over to inform himself in the villany of the world." That evening, after a "mighty good store of wine," he carried out his plan: "I to my chamber, where I did read through L'escholle des filles ... and after I had done it I burned it, that it might not be among my books to my shame."

Strangely enough, I have a mysterious urge to burn the internet after I read it. I guess that's what causes flame wars.

-The Gneech
Tags: birthday, forgotten english
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